Family remembers 5-year-old who died getting off school bus

PEMBROKE, GA (WTOC) - A Pembroke family is mourning the loss of a 5-year-old taken too soon.

KeShawn Odum was killed earlier this week crossing the road after he stepped off his school bus on Ga. 119 near Sims Road.

The Odum family is big and tight-knight. They were supposed to be celebrating a birthday Saturday. Instead, they're getting ready to bury a child. Zaccheus Lavant is KeShawn's cousin, but that's not how he describes it.

"He was like my brother," Zaccheus said.

Zaccheus just turned eight and thought it was his job to look out for his "little brother." Saturday was suppposed to be a happy day for the cousins.

"His family was very close to him," Toccarra Jackson, Zaccheus' mother, said. If he were here right now, we would've been in Pooler skating for Zaccheus' birthday."

They're trying to remember KeShawn's short life -- not the way it ended on Ga 119. Toccarra asked her son to speak for the family -- to honor KeShawn's memory. Here's what he remembers.

"He liked to jump on the trampoline," Zaccheus said. "Every time we go to church, he ask for gummy bears."

KeShawn was a bright student, his family tell me. He made straight A's. He liked math and the Atlanta Falcons.

"We played football," Zaccheus said. "We played wrestling."

Keisha Odum is holding up about as well as any mother could. She was waiting at the bus stop when the wreck happened and saw the whole thing. Keisha was too torn up to go on camera.

For now, the family is staying with relatives. Spray paint and evidence flags mark the scene of the wreck, just outside Keisha's window.

Keisha Odum doesn't know whether she'll stay in her home on Ga 119. Right now, the family is finalizing arrangements at Smalls Funeral Home in Guyton. They plan to set up a donation account for KeShawn's final expenses on Monday.